while your feet keep the board balanced on its single, central roller. Some jugglers and acrobats use this technique all the time. And so do writers and other creative artists. Personal teeter-totters are tricky.
Back in the day, I could standing on that rolling board indefinitely and never need to think about what I was doing. The virtual equivalent isn’t always as easy. The reason is simple.
We’re constantly bombarded by more and more extraneous gibberish vying for our attention, demanding we focus on it instead of our desired focal point.
Take this last two weeks, for instance. I needed to concentrate on doing a full revision on the first volume of my Wisher’s World Series. I had my calendar set up to allow for submissions, revision time, and a bit of down time to decompress.
Then, WHAM, every distraction, unimportant call to action, and personal ‘need’ descended to throw balance out the window.
I have another week’s worth of hard slog to get it to the edit stage. It should already have been on the edit board. I got one submission out. I have two more to get through edit and out before the end of the month. I’m behind on my posts here and on 2Voices1Song.
In other words, I’m way out of balance—again. And I was doing so well there for a while.
I will admit disappointment in myself—I couldn’t stem the landslide and fell off my balance board. I slid only two weeks, however. That’s better that ever before. And the trick was in how I refocused.
My re-focus technique was fairly simple. I mirrored what others were asking of me. I sent impending work out to nonlocal writers for critique. That gave me a quicker evaluation to use for edits when I got to them this week. I used every spare moment of quiet time to consider where my novella manuscript needed certain attention and jotted down thoughts and solutions. Doctor’s waiting rooms are great for that.
I did a minimum to satisfy every other demand, while still getting a chapter or two reworked in Wisher’s World each day.
Most of all, I threw perfectionism out the window and allowed myself the downtime I really needed.
The result wasn’t stellar, but it got the jobs done. I got the first short story out to its competition, I revised thirteen chapters in Wisher’s World and added a new chapter. I wrote some good poetry for five days and created modified Haiga posters. Along the way, I made a few new friends and picked up a large, new project to be developed soon.
My focus is back. The balance board is on its roller. My calendar needs tweaking because of projects rearranged or modified. But I’m not stressed over any of it anymore.
The only things left on my docket for today is a quick revision of one chapter, pulling out another short story to begin edit work on for submission, and working on a cover for my next chapbook. It’s slated to for release at the end of the month.
And in case you’re wondering, I’m still only working on material I have in backlog. That’s my only solid goal for the year and maybe even into next year.
If you have similar problems keeping your focus, share with others. Drop a comment below and tell me about your struggle with focus. We’re all rowing boats on the ocean.
Have a great rest of the week, peeps, and a fantastic weekend ahead.